I've been attempting to create a sphere with an Earth texture, for which I've made a custom appearance with a flattened picture of earth. Instead of wrapping to the sphere, however, the image is mirrored on both sides of the sphere and extremely distorted. I knew wrapping 2D geometry to a sphere was not strictly possible, but is there no way to pull it off with an image?
If not, would something like this be possible in 3DS max?
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Attach your files here.
This is completely possible. I've done it myself. In fact, I've done a complete scale model of the solar system, each with surface textures from NASA maps/images (if they were available available).
What I did was get an image of the Earth's surface that was designed to be projected onto a sphere (there are tons available on the internet). I saved this image into the Inventor textures folder and made an appearance style with it. Then I applied that surface style to a sphere and, behold! Earth.
To get it to look right, I had to tweak the image scale and rotation (in Inventor's style editor). I think I also had to modify the original image file so that the equator was at the top and bottom edges of the image. This made it so that the image was located vertically with the poles in the right place.
I have attached the image file I used, and also the model of Earth. In order for you to see the image when you open the part file, you will have to place the image file into your Inventor textures folder. Mine is here (Windows 7):
Edit: Here is a screenshot so you can see what I see when I open the part file:
I think the texture is actually upside down (at least from a northerner's perspective, with Antarctica on the top), but this was easy enough to fix with constraints in the assembly that I didn't bother to fix the image.
Here's a 7 minute max tutorial - sped up.
Hope that helps.
Thank you! Your example worked great, the only problem I'm having now is that I can't replicate it with my own designs. The biggest issue seems to be that all my spheres have their convergence points on the sides instead of the top and bottom.
Is there a good way to either rotate the sphere or create it with the correct axis?
You can probably just edit the appearance style to rotate the image (and scale it). Here are the exact settings I used to get what you seen in the image from my earlier post:
You may need to use a different scale, depending on the radius of your sphere. For your reference, my sphere is 1" radius. But setting the image rotation to 90 degrees (or maybe -90) should line it up properly.
So folks here will know...
I experimented with this last eve and found that in 2013, using the Materials/Appearances UI to rotate the texture map didn't resolve this issue, it just rotated the map around the axis/convergence point.
I decided to rotate the scene using the View Cube and that did work. However, that is not a very usable solution. It needs to be within the Matl/Appr UI for the texture and on a per component basis. It would be good if the map rotated interactively on the surface so you could see the change in real time. (IMHO)
billyb is right. The only reason your example worked, cwhetten, was because it was an elongated sphere (slightly wider than tall, I believe). As soon as I set the vertical and horizontal dimension to equal, it snapped the convergence points back to the sides and rotated the texture 90 degrees. From there, playing with the appearance rotation causes it to exhibit that "watermelon" effect I showed earlier.
Here's some more information, if it helps. I've also uploaded example files.
I finally tried simply using the view cube to rotate the view and making the whole part sideways, but I've run into a new problem. As visible in the picture below, when I remove a piece of the sphere which passes through its convergence point, Inventor automatically moves that point and thereby rotates the whole image. This makes it impossible to align the globe correctly (with the edge of the sliced circle touching the pole). The files are attached.
In case it matters, I am in fact using Inventer 2013, which seems to have some differences in the rotation/alignment system.
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